Four. That’s All. Four. And Anthony Kennedy Has Apparently Changed His Mind.

Perhaps the most compelling talking point used by President Trump’s friends in 2016 to defend him was the courts. It wasn’t just the Supreme Court. At the end of Barack Obama’s time in office, the federal judiciary had 105 US District and Circuit Court vacancies, which is the highest of any President except Bill Clinton since 1980.

Electing Trump would not only save the Supreme Court because of Antonin Scalia’s death, but he had the opportunity to shape the future of the country like few Presidents before him could. With that many vacancies, the President could have an outsized impact.

Except he isn’t. Thus far, the President has seen only four circuit and district court nominees confirmed by the Senate. Four. Obama had 11 in his first year. George W. Bush had 28. Bill Clinton had 27.

Now, folks on the right are blaming gridlock in the Senate. And that’s a fair point. The Senate Democrats are demanding 30 hours per nominee, which means that if the Senate actually did do that it would take more than eight years to confirm all the President’s nominees.

But Mitch McConnell is dragging his feet too. It is not just the Senate Democrats and the GOP is casting all the blame that way. The Democrats play hardball better than the GOP. McConnell could do all sorts of things, including putting off debt ceiling votes and stacking the deck to blame the Democrats. He could put pressure on the Democrats who are massively on defense in 2018.

McConnell is not doing that however, because McConnell wants to punish the President. The entirety of the conservative advance in the judiciary is really being held hostage by the pissing contest between McConnell and Trump.

But, on top of that, the reality is that President Trump has hurt himself. It is an open secret in Washington that Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court was to show Anthony Kennedy that Trump would not screw up the judiciary. It would make it safe for Kennedy to retire. But it is just as open a secret in Washington that Kennedy has seen what is happening with Trump now and decided he must stay.

That’s right. Those of you who voted for Trump to rescue the Supreme Court will have to do this all over again in 2020 because the President’s behavior has guaranteed neither Breyer nor Kennedy will be going any time soon. Short of the grim reaper, the Supreme Court will be unchanged and Kennedy will be moving further left as a response to President Trump’s behavior. The man who was all set to retire now will not and it has a great deal to do with Donald Trump’s personal behavior as President.

This is what you call a pyrrhic victory.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Way We Were

Supreme Court Justice and Washington fixture Ruth Bader Ginsburg hit the bright lights last Saturday night and saw a play about her late colleague and friend Antonin Scalia.  Ginsburg, who has been on the high court since 1993 after being appointed as an associate justice by President Bill Clinton, took some time to tell the audience about her views on DC culture, specifically her optimism that the country would be okay “over the long haul.”

“My hope is in my lifetime we will get back to the way it was,” Ginsburg said about the partisan divide in Washington, D.C.

I’m sure that the sentiment behind Ginsburg’s statement was noble.  She was known to have a warm relationship with Scalia, who was her polar opposite when it came to judicial philosophy, and proved though her own example that people can be close friends even when their politics are on different ends of the spectrum.  The two were known to have frequent debates over policy, and yet somehow were capable of knocking a drink back together at the end of the day.  In that respect, I completely agree with Ginsburg’s lament over the polarized mood in Washington, which has infected the larger culture as well–and I also have a sincere wish that more people could discuss politics without resorting to personal attacks.

But that whole business about the way it was?  That may have been good for the DC establishment, but for the rest of the country it wasn’t working so hot.  Democrats and Republicans working together may sound nice, but it also brought us a steadily expanding federal government, crushing regulations and a $20 trillion national debt.  That’s hardly an argument for bipartisanship.

As to the rancor that has developed over the left-right divide, Ginsburg also doesn’t stop to consider the Court’s own role in creating that anger.  Abortion, for example, became the law of the land by judicial fiat back in 1973, but did nothing to settle the issue in peoples’ hearts and minds–and has since become such a cornerstone of Democrat politics that it has pushed the party from “safe, legal and rare” to the extreme of “anytime, anywhere and for any reason.”  Democrats who don’t toe that line are quickly shown the door, and worse yet–they insist that taxpayers fund abortions through Planned Parenthood.  If you’re missing that good old-fashioned DC comity, I can think of few things that have undermined it more than Roe v. Wade.

Then there’s how the Court has taken it upon itself to become a super legislature, rewriting laws passed by Congress–you know, the people’s representatives–in order to suit its own policy preferences.  Remember that time John Roberts (appointed by George W. Bush no less) twisted jurisprudence into a Gordian knot so that he could interpret the Obamacare mandate as a tax, even when the drafters of the law said explicitly that it wasn’t?  Or later, when Roberts rewrote the law again to allow federal exchanges to step in for states that refused to establish them, even though Obamacare had no provision for doing so?  I don’t know where the Court thought it had the authority to do that, because it sure as hell isn’t in the Constitution.  And yet Ginsburg went along with it, taking power away from voters who had no recourse.  That sort of thing tends to make people mad, in case she was wondering.

I could go on and on with may other examples of judicial overreach, but you get the idea.  If Ginsburg really wants to go back to the good old days of mutual respect, she’ll probably have to reconsider her own judicial activism.

Christian Baker Discusses Harassment, Death Threats as SCOTUS Debate Nears

On Monday, the Supreme Court ended its most recent session by revealing that it will determine whether a Colorado baker discriminated against a gay couple when he declined to bake a cake for their 2012 wedding in its next term.

The controversial case, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, gained national attention after bakery owner Jack Phillips declined to make a wedding cake two gay men, citing his Christian beliefs. Phillips said he didn’t refuse the couple service and offered to sell them anything in the store, but he would not actively participate in the couple’s wedding by making a cake specifically for the occasion.

With the SCOTUS is set to debate the balance between religious liberty and equal treatment under the law, Phillips spoke with Fox News about the years of harassment and threats he, his family, and his workers have faced as a result of the incident.

Phillips has grown somewhat accustomed to the lost business, hate-filled online reviews, and nasty phone calls he has faced, but it still bothers him when the vitriol meant for him is—intentionally or not—passed on to others.

“In all of this, the threats against me or disparaging comments, the worst part is that I have to answer the phone so they’re not threatening my wife or my daughter when they pick it up,” Phillips said. “They don’t wait to see who’s on the phone. You pick up the phone, they’re already talking.”

He recalls receiving two specific death threats—one involving his daughter—that were obviously troublesome, but one of the most hurtful moments came when a member of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission compared him to a Holocaust sympathizer.

“Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust,” Commissioner Diann Rice said in a brief. “I mean, we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination.”

The comments hit close to home for Phillips, whose father was severely injured in World War II, while part of a team that helped liberate a Nazi concentration camp.

“For her to compare standing for my faith and not making a cake to Hitler’s…

Read the full story at

GOP Congressmen Ask Ruth Bader Ginsburg To Recuse Herself From Trump Cases

The Trump Administration was given a mild victory in a Supreme Court decision handed down on Monday. Rejecting the lower court’s ruling that said President Trump’s travel ban was unconstitutional, SCOTUS is allowing much of the travel ban to stay in place – but with significant restrictions on individuals who have a bona fide relationship with the United States. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments concerning the ban’s presidential authority and religious discrimination in the first session of October.

Fifty-eight House Republicans, however, have formally asked Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to recuse herself from the upcoming case because of her past comments regarding Trump. In a signed letter, the GOP congressmen give reason as to why she could not judge the case with an impartial attitude due to her criticisms of Trump during the presidential campaign.

The letter asks that RBG not only recuse herself from the upcoming International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump case, but from any cases involving President Trump. Despite a Supreme Court justice supposed to having complete in impartiality in cases, the letter was able to list numerous examples of her criticizing the president:

“As an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, you are required to recuse yourself in cases in which your ‘impartiality might reasonably be questioned,’ and where you have ‘a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party.”

“Your public criticism of Donald Trump during the campaign included statements such as ‘I can’t imagine what this place would be – I can’t imagine what the country would be – with Donald Trump as our president.’ You referred to Donald Trump as a ‘faker.’ When asked about the possibility of Trump winning the presidency, you responded ‘I don’t want to think about that possibility, but if it should be, then everything is up for grabs.'”

These are very legitimate examples to bring up. Ginsburg issued grave concerns about the possibility of a President Trump to the New York Times in a July 2016 interview. She then went on to call him a “faker” to CNN. The unprecedented criticisms by a Supreme Court justice led to (otherwise friendly) media outlets showing dismay at her actions. The New York Times and The Washington Post criticized her for the comments. She later had to walk back the statements.

Given her very public disapproval of President Trump, it is hard to imagine Ginsburg showing impartiality when the case is heard in October. It’s unclear what she will do or how she will handle the mounting calls for her recusal. The executive direct of Fix the Court, a group that advocates for more transparency in the Supreme Court, gave his remarks about what RBG should do.

“Justice Ginsburg should take this opportunity and explain to the American people her views on why she should stay on the case,” stated Gabe Roth. “It is possible there are convincing reasons for Justice Ginsburg to hear the travel ban lawsuit despite her clear disdain for the petitioner. It is her responsibility now to air those reasons.”

Supreme Court Abdicates it’s Duty; Refuses to Hear 2nd Amendment Case

Today the Supreme Court abdicated it duty and refused to hear a 2nd Amendment case out in California which leaves a San Diego County law in place that requires people to show a special need in order to get a concealed carry license.

The Court did not say why they refused but Justice Thomas dissented and was joined by the newest addition to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, which blasted the Court for abdicating and for treating “the Second Amendment like a disfavored right.”

Thomas wrote, “The Framers made a clear choice: They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it.”

Thomas also explained why the Court should of taken up the case. He points out that the Federal circuits have been divided and have come to different conclusion on the issue which is why the Court ought to hear the case.

Despite the sharply worded dissent it seems that the Court decided to not hear the case.

This is just another example of judicial abdication which the Court routinely does in matters that are controversial instead of doing it’s job which is to protect the individual’s natural rights.

Weasley Worded News Reports That Neil Gorsuch Committed Plagiarism Are Fake News. Here’s Why.

BuzzFeed is the first out of the gate with a weasley worded headline designed to accuse Neil Gorsuch of plagiarizing without actually doing so because BuzzFeed knows it is not true. Why? Because they and Politico, which is also planning to run this story, both knew from the alleged victim that it was not plagiarism before running the story.

BuzzFeed’s headline is “A Short Section In Neil Gorsuch’s 2006 Book Appears To Be Copied From A Law Review Article” with the subtitle “The section is just two paragraphs and accompanying footnotes, but it repeats language and sourcing from another work, a 1984 law review article.”

Notice “appears to be” in the headline. Notice “repeats language and sourcing,” which means Gorsuch used the same primary sources instead of relying on someone else’s work.

Democrats have been shopping this story around for a week. They claim Neil Gorsuch committed plagiarism. The allegation is that in a body of written work that amounts to over literally 7,000 written pages, Gorsuch plagiarized two paragraphs. The allegation is crap and the reporters who are pushing this out are Democrats masquerading as objective reporters. Don’t believe me though. Believe the people who are the supposed victims of the plagiarism.

BuzzFeed’s reporter is a gay rights activist who has been openly contemptuous of conservatives and conservative legal scholars over the years as he has advocated for the gay agenda. The Politico’s reporter, once he drops his work that will sound like BuzzFeed’s and thereby meet both organizations’ definition of plagiarism, is a Democrat hack.

You need some background for this attack.

A lot of law review articles and legal articles in general cite each other. They reference each other. But the longer a topic goes along, the more and more often a lawyer and law student is citing the second hand recitations instead of the first hand documents and case law.

Gorsuch ran into that problem when writing about an Infant Doe case that originated in 1982. In his 2006 book, The Future of Assisted Suicide, Gorsuch did not cite a 1984 Indiana Law Journal article written by Abigail Lawlis Kuzma. Instead, Gorsuch went to the original materials. He referred to an unpublished declaratory judgment that formed the basis of the case, a text book, and an 1983 newspaper article. He is being accused of plagiarism for using the original sources to give the facts of a case instead of relying on someone else’s second hand account, which means that the publication that claimed Gorsuch committed plagiarism after another publication did the same has committed plagiarism.

Basically, Roe v. Wade involved a plaintiff in Texas who sought an abortion and was denied the ability to have one. She sued. According to the standard being laid out for Gorsuch, what I just wrote would be plagiarism. It is, however, journalism and English writing 101 that recitations of facts are not plagiarism.

Again though, don’t believe me. Believe Abigail Lawlis Kuzma, the supposed victim of Gorsuch’s plagiarism. She has released a statement, after reviewing the accusations, and states:

I have reviewed both passages and do not see an issue here, even though the language is similar. These passages are factual, not analytical in nature, framing both the technical legal and medical circumstances of the “Baby/Infant Doe” case that occurred in 1982. Given that these passages both describe the basic facts of the case, it would have been awkward and difficult for Judge Gorsuch to have used different language.

Kuzma’s position is straight forward. Gorsuch wrote about the same topic she did, using the same sources she did, and relayed the same facts similarly to her because those were the facts conveyed by the original sources. Gorsuch doing his own homework, relaying the same objective facts, is not plagiarism by any standard other than the left’s hysterics.

Even more ridiculously, the Democrats assert Gorsuch plagiarized Kuzma’s definition of Down Syndrome. In his 2006 book, Gorsuch described Down Syndrome as “chromosomal disorder that involves both a certain amount of physical deformity and some degree of mental retardation.” Kuzma, in 1984, described it as, “an incurable chromosomal disorder that involves a certain amount of physical deformity and an unpredictable degree of mental retardation.”

Why is that not plagiarism? Every definition of Down Syndrome contains those phrases. It is common to the definition.

That’s like accusing of plagiarizing Merriam Webster on the definition of blue. Here is

the pure color of a clear sky; the primary color between green and violet in the visible spectrum, an effect of light with a wavelength between 450 and 500 nm.

Here is Merriam Webster:

of the color whose hue is that of the clear sky

For that matter, here is the OED:

Of a colour intermediate between green and violet, as of the sky or sea on a sunny day.

Heck, for that matter, here is on Down Syndrome:

a genetic disorder, associated with the presence of an extra chromosome 21, characterized by mild to severe mental impairment, weak muscle tone, shorter stature, and a flattened facial profile.


a congenital condition characterized especially by mental retardation, short stature, upward slanting eyes, a flattened nasal bridge, broad hands with short fingers, decreased muscle tone, and by trisomy of the human chromosome numbered 21 —called also trisomy 21

And the OED:

A congenital disorder arising from a chromosome defect, causing intellectual impairment and physical abnormalities including short stature and a broad facial profile. It arises from a defect involving chromosome 21, usually an extra copy (trisomy-21).

There are certain phrases that must come with a definition. It is not plagiarism to use those definitions.

It is worth noting that even the outside reviewers of Gorsuch’s book, related to his PhD. dissertation, is calling b.s. on the plagiarism claim. John Keown, the Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Christian Ethics at Georgetown University, one of the outside examiners for Judge Gorsuch’s dissertation, wrote in a statement:

“The allegation is entirely without foundation. The book is meticulous in its citation of primary sources. The allegation that the book is guilty of plagiarism because it does not cite secondary sources which draw on those same primary sources is, frankly, absurd. Indeed, the book’s reliance on primary rather than secondary sources is one of its many strengths.”

John Finnis, Emeritus Professor of Law at Oxford University, who was Gorsuch’s thesis Supervisor for his Oxford Doctoral Thesis that underlies his book has gone on record this evening saying

“[I]n my opinion, none of the allegations has any substance or justification … In all four cases, Neil Gorsuch’s writing and citing was easily and well within the proper and accepted standards of scholarly research and writing in the field of study in which he was working.”

This is another reason the GOP needs to scuttle the filibuster immediately. Democrats and partisan members of the press have gone beyond honest objections to character assassination. They are trying to rewrite definitions to things like plagiarism to destroy an honest man’s reputation.

Their arguments are in bad faith and the GOP should stop humoring them and scrap the filibuster immediately.

And why am I not surprised it is BuzzFeed and Politico running these stories. Neither is really interested in facts. They just want to generate controversy and clicks. See e.g. BuzzFeed’s running of the unsubstantiated allegations against President Trump. But we can tell which of the two has even less ethical and journalistic standards — BuzzFeed, which rushed out the story with the weasle headline of “Appears to be copied.”

Perhaps, considering the victim says this is not plagiarism, Politico will decide to not print the Democrats’ hit job.

Abandoning All Intellectual Honesty, Democrats Attack One of Elena Kagan’s Loves

Democrats cannot help but beclown themselves over Neil Gorsuch. After Barack Obama’s election, Democrats convinced themselves they would never, ever again be in the minority so it was safe to scrap the filibuster for nominations. Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer whipped the Democrats into line and forced through the change. They did not scrap the filibuster. They just determined it did not apply to nominations. They carefully exempted Supreme Court nominations. But, so convinced were they that Hillary Clinton would win the Presidency and they would retake the Senate, Reid and Schumer preemptively announced they would scuttle the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees in 2017.

Well, things did not go as planned. After the Democrats originally scrapped the filibuster, Republicans took back the Senate and refused to confirm any new judges in retribution. When the election went to Trump, the Democrats had already tipped their hand that they intended to scrap the filibuster for the Supreme Court. Now the GOP is doing it for them.

All the Democrats have left is hysteria. Swallowing their intellectual honesty, Senators Dick Durbin and Sheldon Whitehouse led the latest and most hysterical attack on Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch, according to the Democrats, is a member of a secretive, extremist group that has lobbied for Gorsuch under the radar. This nefarious, radical group of the right has been plotting for years to place Gorsuch on the Supreme Court it seems.

The name of this nefarious, secretive, extremist group? That would be the Federalist Society.

The Federal Society is so nefarious, secretive, and extreme that every single sitting member of the United States Supreme Court has spoken at its events. Justice Elena Kagan, when she served as Harvard Law School’s dean, declared “I love the Federalist Society.”

Justice Sotomayor spoke during a Federalist Society panel discussion.

Justice Breyer had the audacity to join Justice Scalia at a Federalist Society event.

Even the Notorious RBG herself, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has participated in Federalist Society events.

It is that extremist and secretive.

The Federal Society was founded in 1982. It is a nonpartisan organization, but it is definitely a group dedicated to originalism. Justice Elena Kagan has noted that we are all originalists now and that is in large part due not just to Justice Scalia, but due to the Federalist Society. The organization hosts symposiums and encourages both conversation and debate on legal topics. It has been praised by Democrat appointed Supreme Court justices, liberal law professors, and even the head of the ACLU.

You would never know that from Democrats’ hysteria today. They cannot conjure up an Illuminati, so they are forced to demonize a highly respected group. That is all they have left.

Democrats surrendered the moral high ground when they blew up the filibuster for convenience. Now they are regretting it, but have boxed themselves in. Screaming loudly will get them nothing, but it makes them feel better.

What screaming hysterically will not do is stop Neil Gorsuch, who will be sworn in and seated on the United States Supreme Court by sun down Friday.

Oh, and Elena Kagan will love Gorsuch too because he’ll be the newest Justice, thereby relieving Kagan of the traditional duty of opening and closing the door when the Justices all meet to discuss cases.

Chuck Schumer Confirms the Gorsuch Hearings Are For Show

Chuck Schumer says he will oppose and filibuster Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the United States Supreme Court, which just confirms the theatrics and hearings are for show. The hearings are not even over and Schumer has made up his mind. It is obvious most of the other Democrats have as well.

Just consider the press coverage of this hearing.

From Wolf Blitzer: “I think he did a great job this morning. I think the Democrats have done a pretty poor job, but I think the reason they have done a poor job is there’s not a lot to beat this man up on.”

From John King: “The democrats have not even bruised, blemished anything to this judge so far.”

From MSNBC’s Ari Melber: “I didn’t see a single glove laid on him. He performed himself admirably.”

From CNN’s Gloria Borger: “Judge Gorsuch is completely qualified and everybody knows it. He is totally and completely qualified and he’s exactly the kind of a nominee you would expect from a Republican, period. This is what elections are about.”

From Jeffrey Toobin: “He knows so much more about everything he’s being asked than the senators. And a couple of times it really came back to bite them.”

This is the American press corps saying this. Even Democrats like John Yarmuth of Kentucky are saying Gorsuch has not done or said anything disqualifying.

Democrats just don’t like him because he is a conservative. Chuck Schumer’s claims about Gorsuch are disingenious and show why the GOP needs to scuttle the judicial filibuster now. The standard Schumer is setting is not one of qualifications, but one of issues advocacy. He does not think Gorsuch will side with him on issues and Schumer does not want an independent judiciary. He wants a Democrat controlled judiciary.

Audaciously, Schumer voted to end the filibuster for lower court nominees and now says the GOP should keep the Supreme Court filibuster and just get a more liberal nominee. Schumer does not get to change the rules and then say others cannot change the rules. Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid established the precedent. If Republicans do not now end the Supreme Court filibuster they are establishing a precedent that Democrats can change the rules when they like, but Republicans cannot.

Schumer saying the Democrats will filibuster a man everyone agrees is qualified is grounds enough to end the Supreme Court filibuster.

Elections matter. The GOP won. And I need not remind anyone that two weeks before the election, convinced the Democrats were keeping the White House and taking the Senate, Chuck Schumer was in favor of getting rid of the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees.